Bradford White Corp. has purchased the Niles Steel Tank Co. of Niles, Michigan.

Bradford White Corp. has purchased the Niles Steel Tank Co. of Niles, Mich., as the first of several planned acquisitions designed to extend its product line offering to the industry.

Niles Steel Tank, which manufactures large-volume storage tanks and is able to build tanks up to 11 feet in diameter, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Bradford White.

Leonard F. Rzepczynski, a Bradford White vice president and 21-year veteran of the firm, has been appointed general manager of the new subsidiary.

Bradford White said it will make substantial investments to bring the Niles manufacturing plant in line with its primary manufacturing operation in Middleville, Mich.

"Niles is a perfect fit for us," said A. Robert Carnevale, president/CEO of Bradford White. "It is a good first move in our strategic plan to broaden and strengthen our approach to the wholesale marketplace."

Ferguson Parent Wolseley plc

Reports Sales Up 12.7%

Wolseley plc, parent company of Ferguson Enterprises (Newport News, Va.) issued its regular trading statement July 31 from its United Kingdom headquarters. Sales, including acquisitions, for the 11 months ended June 30 are up 12.7%. Preliminary results for the 12 months ending July 31 are expected to be announced Sept. 24.

U.S. operations vary geographically and by market sector, Wolseley said. The industrial and commercial sector remains the weakest segment, but the overall level of U.S. housing continues to be resilient at an annual run rate of more than 1.6 million starts. Activity levels in the group's U.S. plumbing and heating business recently have shown more encouraging signs. The company expects to see a strong finish to the financial year. The integration of Westburne's U.S. business with Wolseley's other U.S. plumbing operations is on schedule.

The group's principal businesses continue to grow market share. The company attributes this to increasing economies of scale, superior customer service and continued investment in logistics. The Wolseley board is confident that the group's strong financial position, strategy for organic and acquisitive growth and conservative accounting policies will continue to stand it in good stead over the long term. Wolseley's U.S. building distribution includes Ferguson, Familian Northwest, and Carolina Holdings.